Referring to your owner's manual is the best way to determine when your engine air filter needs to be replaced. Generally, this is every 12,000 to 15,000 miles, but this can vary depending on your vehicle and driving conditions. It's recommended to check your car's air filter once a year and replace it if it looks dirty. The average length of service for an air filter is 10,000 to 15,000 miles, but this can range from 15,000 to 30,000 miles depending on how much you drive.
Certain factors can increase the frequency of filter changes. If you drive on unpaved roads, in hot climates or in high traffic conditions, Hyundai suggests changing the filter every 15,000 miles. Driving in a highly polluted environment also falls into this category. The owner's manual should show the location of yours and how to open its housing to remove the filter.
If you drive with a lot of traffic on a regular basis, the air filter won't last as long. A good indication that the air filter needs to be replaced is the presence of black smoke coming from the exhaust pipes when you start the engine. The cabin air filter is usually located under the dashboard and behind the glove box, and air passing through it enters the base of the windshield and bypasses the engine. Like vehicle air filters, cabin air filters should also be changed regularly as part of routine vehicle maintenance.
If the car is used a lot in dusty and harsh conditions (think about driving in cities with a lot of works going on), then it is necessary to change the air filter more often. Other signs that the air filter is affecting the performance of your car are sudden movements when accelerating or not responding as well as it should. Filters come in different sizes and shapes specific to certain vehicles, so one size doesn't fit all. This is a sign that your engine is receiving the wrong amount of air and oxygen, and you should check the air filter. When you take your car for regular maintenance, the mechanic will most likely inspect the engine air filter for dirt.
A clean air filter will help your engine perform better; on newer cars, it can increase acceleration by up to 11%, and on older cars it can improve mileage by up to 14%. As the name implies, an engine air filter filters the air that enters the engine and traps dust particles, sand, dirt, and other debris that could damage engine parts. Driving in dusty or rural locations can also cause air filter performance to decline more rapidly, so keep in mind that where you drive will affect its lifespan. An independent test of a Subaru Crosstrek found that a performance filter added 4 horsepower (just over 2%) compared to an original equipment filter and improved its acceleration from 20-60 mph in 0.2 seconds. When it comes to replacing your engine air filter, it's important to remember that one size doesn't fit all. Referring to your owner's manual is key for determining when it needs to be changed and how often.
It's recommended to check your car's air filter once a year and replace it if it looks dirty.